Maybe you’ve been given a second-hand TV that’s missing a few essential items, or perhaps your old TV remote has fallen foul of an accident and is damaged beyond repair, or maybe it’s simply gone AWOL and been lost to the strange netherworld that’s located down the back of your couch.
In any case, there’s no need to panic. You won’t have to spend hours searching online for a remote that exactly matches your TV’s make and model number. TV remotes aren’t incredibly complicated pieces of tech – that’s why we suggest you look for a universal TV remote instead, as there are plenty of great options available to buy.
In this article, we’ve put together a list of universal TVs remotes for all budgets and makes of television. If you’re setting up a new television in your home, you might also want to look at our guide on how to wall mount a TV, along with our best HDMI cable article.
What to look for in a universal remote
You have two broad options when seeking out your ideal universal TV remote. The first is a one-for-all remote that will function across televisions of all brands.
Some one-for-all remotes will also work with other devices, such as your DVD player or stereo, or can even be programmed to work across multiple devices. These are a wise choice for anyone who finds themselves struggling with a heap of remote controls and would like to streamline operations.
The second option is a brand-specific universal remote, which might be made by either the brand itself or a third-party company. The benefit of choosing a universal TV remote that’s aimed at your television’s specific make is that the layout of the remote will likely be very similar to that of your original remote, so you’ll find it far more convenient.
Which option you choose will be entirely down to you. If you have an older television, one thing to look out for – especially if you’re looking for a brand-specific universal remote – is to be certain that the remote will work on non-smart TVs. This is something that should be clearly stated in the product listing. You can head always head to our what is a smart TV explainer for more info.
One thing to remember: don’t forget to buy some batteries at the same time. Some of our recommendations come with batteries included or come available in battery/remote bundle deals.
7 of the best universal remotes
All For One Contour Remote
The Contour remote is an all-for-one device that will work across all TV brands. It can be set up in three easy steps, and it also offers you customisability too. There’s a learning feature that lets you programme particular functions to particular buttons. Aside from the standalone remote, you’ll also find some bundles available, including HDMI 2.0 cable or multi-packs of AmazonBasics batteries.
Hama 4-in-1 Universal Remote:
Best for multiple devices
This universal remote from Hama is great if you have a number of devices that you wish to control from one centralised source. This option will let you operate four different devices, but there’s also an 8-in-1 model should you need it. In order to pair it successfully with your TV, you will need to select and enter a specific code.
Foxtek Universal Replacement Remote Control for Samsung
Best third-party remote for Samsungs
This universal remote is designed for Samsung televisions of all kinds, including Full HD, 4K, standard LCD or top-of-the-line OLED. It also works with non-smart TVs if you own an older television set. Luckily, there’s no need to enter any model codes to set this up with your TV: it will automatically pair with your television when it’s activated.
LG Magic Remote
Best for LG smart TV
If your old remote was an LG Magic Remote, chances are you’ll want the exact same thing as a replacement. These remote controls are well-known for their ease of use – they offer users a cursor-like pointing feature along with a handy scrolling wheel. Better still, there are direct ‘hot keys’ that take you directly to both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video – perfect for all streaming addicts out there.
Angrox Universal Remote Control for LG
Best budget LG remote
A more affordable option for anybody looking for a universal remote for their LG smart TV. This remote is made by the third-party Angrox, but you won’t need to enter any kind of programming process to pair this with your television. Again, this remote features specific buttons that will take you through to Netflix and Prime Video – and in a nice touch, a pair of the required AAA batteries come included.
BCE Universal Remote Control for Samsung
Best for non-smart Samsung
This universal remote from BCE is a great budget option for anyone with a Samsung television, which includes older, non-smart models. Although it’s another universal remote made by a third-party brand, it won’t need any programming to pair with your television – providing it’s a Samsung set, and it should get going as soon as the batteries are in.
Earthma Universal Remote for Samsung
Best budget-friendly Samsung remote
This universal remote is designed for Samsung televisions, but Earthma also sells options for LG, Sony and Hisense. Each remote is designed with a different layout, each one being similar to the corresponding brand – so you shouldn’t find you need to adapt much when operating it. A great budget-friendly alternative to remotes made by the brands themselves.
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